Seasons come and Seasons go,
Memories of your pre-injury life are exactly that. They are but a memory of your old life. Many friends you had, have gone. The few, true loyal friends have now taken their place.
Each day is a struggle behind closed doors that family and friends never see. Being in public with your issues can make life unbearable at times. To simply run here or there is no longer an option. Isolation is your new friend. Pain, Anxiety, Stress, Fear, Depression and Fatigue are your new norm.
Medical issues that will plague you and be a constant reminder that you’ll never be the same, will haunt you daily and in reality the rest of your life.
To hear, “you’re doing much better, considering your limitations and everything you’ve been through,” from your Dr. and therapist is indeed positive encouragement. Yet, at the same time this can be interpreted as a double standard if you’re not careful. By this I’m saying, (and this is something I wrestle with daily), you accept the positive feedback as encouraging and that you’re conquering this new life from your TBI. On the flip side when you’re alone within the silence and your mind begins to wander, you reflect of your life PRE-TBI. Slowly you can slip into the mindset of, I’m improving considering my limitations? So, now you’re thinking, I’m still having problems and this is the best I’m going to be? There within lies the dangers to reminisce of pre-tbi life.
You’re not the same! The sombering reality is, you will never regain what your opinion of yourself is to be normal like you once were. But that’s okay! Acceptance of your new life and limitations is critical in overcoming this major hurdle of your TBI.
The Bible tells us in the book of Ecclesiastes that everything in life has a season:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; …
The parts of this Scripture that speak to me are: a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up, a time to weep and a time to embrace. Allow me to personally open up to you my interpretation of this if you will.
A TIME TO HEAL: You may be in the beginning stages for the “Season” for the journey to recovering from your TBI. Although full recovery will be a lifetime of struggles, This is your Season for learning your limitations and new handicaps. Accept them and strive to be the best you can be considering these new limitations and your healing process will begin. There is no time frame on how long this Season will last, but scripture tells us there is a Season to heal. Seasons don’t last forever!
A Time to Break Down, and a time to Build up: This is my favorite part…the Season to break down the old you from within and get the old ways of thinking out of your life and definitely should be out of your mindset! You’ve suffered a severe TBI! The harsh reality is that you will never be the same. Break down and throw out the “old you!” Your vocabulary and ways of thinking should be torn down and thrown out of your life completely. Examples being: “I use to be able to do this before I got hurt, I should still be able to do this but I can’t and “it is what it is!” Instead adapt to and have the mindset of, “I can’t do this now, “BUT I CAN DO THIS!” this has been taken from me,”BUT I STILL HAVE THIS!” Rebuild your new life in a positive light and upon Biblical teaching and Faith in God. He never said we had to be perfect to be used for His will, only to be open and willing to be used by Him. He can take the imperfect and use them to create something perfect! It’s all in your perspective and mindset! SEASONS DON’T LAST FOREVER!
A Time to Weep: Opening part of my personal TBI journey to you all now. There have been many days and nights I’ve broken down crying and sobbing face down in my pillow or down to my knees anywhere in my home over this past year. Depression is a very serious and severe reality. In the early stages it was weeping from confusion and why has this happened to me? God why did you allow this to happen? Confusion turned to frustration, frustration turned to anger, finally anger turned to blaming God. One night while having one of my “woe as me crying sessions”, I stopped and said,”GOD, I’M TIRED! I’M BROKEN! NO MEDICINE OR DOCTOR CAN FIX ME! I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU’VE ALLOWED THIS STORM IN MY LIFE BUT I KNOW YOU WOULDN’T ALLOW IT IF YOU’RE NOT GOING TO TEACH ME SOMETHING FROM IT OR TO SOMEWAY, SOMEHOW USE ME TO SHOW YOUR GRACE AND MERCY THROUGH MY TEST AND TRIALS TO OTHERS, TO BUILD A TESTIMONY TO PROVE TO OTHERS THAT NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU, I NEED YOU!” Now I’d Love to tell you that everything instantly became simple and life was good, it wasn’t! However, I did have a new Peace come over me that I had not felt during this TBI Journey. My perspective changed over My situation and allowed God to work His Will through me in this journey. No it hasn’t been any easier but the people I’ve touched through my journaling and writings has shown me that God is using my experience to help others and to give them Hope! To give them someone to turn to when they’re at the end of their rope! I still have my time periodically of crying spells but they’re not like they use to be. Yes, I am so grateful for my therapist and Doctors, there has not been one person that has been placed in my path during this journey that God didn’t have a hand in! SEASONS DONT LAST FOREVER!
A Time to Embrace: As stated earlier in this passage, acceptance of this “new you” is crucial to begin your recovery and healing. This is the new you, embrace it! You can fight it, you can complain about it, You can turn your back on God, family and friends but until you personally EMBRACE this new lifestyle that has been placed on you, you will never be satisfied with your life. No, you didn’t ask for this, who would? No this isn’t the lifestyle you had planned for yourself and No this isn’t what you wanted! The reality of the situation is, it is your life now and it can’t be changed. Either you can continue to go down as a slowly sinking ship that will eventually be submerged and crash to the ocean floor “OR” you can embrace the damage and begin to work on the problems and issues as if patching the holes at a slow pace but you’re still staying afloat and not going under and you will not sink! SEASONS DON’T LAST FOREVER!
The thing about Seasons are that they come and go. Each year there are new seasons. These new Seasons will come and go as well. If you have one year, two years or many years post TBI, I want you to look within the Season you’re in now and reflect back to how your life was during this Season last year or your first year during your TBI journey. Have you progressed? Have you overcome obstacles? Have you learned new techniques and strategies that somewhat help you during your daily life struggles that make things less strenuous on You? If you have, THAT’S INCREDIBLE! KEEP GOING AND NEVER STOP! If you haven’t, don’t lose HOPE! This doesn’t mean you’re a failure by any means. You’re still in your own personal season. This is your personal TBI journey and no-one elses. Each TBI is unique in its on way to the victim. There are no two TBI’s that are the same. Don’t model your journey and progress to that of someone else. This is a recipe for heartache and failure! Nobody, including yourself, knows the time frame of how long the Season you’re going through will last. Get determined, get motivated keep the Faith and continue to work hard to make the best of your life. Always remember Seasons come and go, they don’t last forever!
Never lose Faith, Never lose Hope!